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Hot ‘Uncorked’ festival continues to grow

Hot ‘Uncorked’ festival continues to grow
Hot ‘Uncorked’ festival continues to grow
An attendee at the fifth annual Southern Indiana Uncorked Festival gets a glass filled by a Cedar Creek Winery representative Saturday afternoon. Photo by Ross Schulz (click for larger version)

The unseasonably warm weather Saturday, combined with an enhanced line-up of wineries, vendors and bands, made for one of the largest Southern Indiana Uncorked festivals in its five-year history.
Last year’s festival was an expansion of previous festivals, which were either held in the Merchants Building or the area underneath the grandstands at the Harrison County Fairgrounds, but officials decided to move it outside to the grass area along Indian Creek to provide more room for attendees and wineries.
This year, with more wineries and a 50-percent increase in vendors, the tents and booths stretched nearly the entire length of the fairgrounds area behind the grandstand.
‘It’s a lot longer,’ event organizer Nathan Blank, owner of Cellar on the Square, said.
Blank said organizers may need to alter the lay-out of the festival for next year.
With the temperature hitting and surpassing the 90-degree mark, Blank said he was thankful for the steady breeze which made the heat bearable for the attendees.
‘It’s hot, but it’s not oppressive,’ Blank said Saturday afternoon.
To cool off, many of the wine tasters took a break on the shaded amphitheater seating along Indian Creek near the band stage. Others found relief under a large tent set up in the center of the wine-tasting area. One attendee simply carried an umbrella around to avoid the hot sun.
Live entertainment included Rachel Timberlake, The Juice Box Heroes and Da Mudcats.
Kyle Mattingly of New Salisbury attended Southern Indiana Uncorked for the first time and said his favorite winery was the Smith’s Family Winery from Columbus.
Mark Kendall, of Indian Creek Winery near Georgetown, said sales were average for the festival.
‘Uncorked is the most economical festival of the year,’ he said. ‘If I were a patron, not a pourer, I would enjoy a small table and chair in the shade.’
Other participating wineries included Best Vineyards, Grateful Goat, Scout Mountain and Turtle Run, all from Harrison County, as well as Buck Creek, Cedar Creek, Chateau de Pique, Harmony, Huber’s, Madison County, Monkey Hollow, Oliver, River City, Salt Creek, Windy Knoll, Winzerwald and Wolf Creek.
A portion of Saturday’s proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Harrison County and $1 of each ticket sold at the gate will be donated to the Harrison County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.
Sponsors of the festival include Cellar on the Square, WFPK Radio, Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Faith Ingle Smith LLC, First Savings Bank, Cobb Heating & Cooling Inc., Longbottom & Hardsaw Inc., First Harrison Bank, Robert S. Mattingly DMD, Bennett & Bennett Insurance, Blank & Ingram CPA’s, Dat Kjun Bar & Grill, Party Central Rental & Sales, Kellum Imprints & Awards and Ordner Insurance.